Much like Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, I came to law school to find love. Well, sorta… Unlike Ms. Woods, my love story is with the practice area of tax law.
To be completely candid, I had no intention of becoming a tax attorney when I first applied to law school. I didn’t even intend to ever take a tax class. From the moment I signed up for the LSAT, my Uncle John, who is a CPA, always claimed I was going to be a tax attorney, and I always dismissed him. Tax law, for me, was like the quiet nerd the main character in a rom-com takes forever to see as more than just a friend.
My “meet cute” with Tax was when I had the last pick time to sign up for classes for my 2L fall, and it was one of the only classes open that fit into my schedule. My Uncle John is always badgering me about becoming a tax attorney, I thought. Why don’t I take Tax I, ultimately fail it, and then never hear or speak of tax law again?
Spoiler alert: This ended up being far from the truth.
Quickly I learned–as the great Professor Repetti once said (and continues to say)–“Tax is not just a career, it’s a way of life.”
Unfortunately, not everyone shares the same sentiment. When I tell people I want to go into Tax Law, I often get puzzled looks and a plethora of follow up questions. “What’s so interesting about Tax Law?” To me the easier question to answer is: What isn’t interesting about Tax Law?
Tax touches almost every aspect of our lives. Oh, you’re having a baby? Don’t forget to write the little bundle of joy off as a tax deduction! LeBron James is playing the Celtics at TD Garden? He’s going to have to pay Massachusetts income tax because of that.
One may try to escape tax, but not even Al Capone was successful with that one.
As I wrap up my last year at BC Law, I am also wrapping up my Tax Concentration curriculum. The Tax Concentration is a relatively new option at BC Law. Students who choose this path are required to take Federal Income Tax (Tax I), Corporate Tax (Tax II), and a Tax Seminar that exposes students to all the various problems that may come up during practice so that when they do, they can be identified. In addition to this set curriculum, at least two classes out of International Tax, Tax III, Estate and Gift Tax, Law and Accounting, or Partnership Tax have to be taken. The remaining credits (to reach a total of 17) are fulfilled by taking electives, such as Non Profit Organizations and Employee Benefits.
While completing the Concentration has not been an easy feat, it has been a rewarding one.
Earlier I admitted that I did not always look at the Internal Revenue Code with a glint in my eye, but I took a step out of my comfort zone, tried something new and found my passion.
If you take away anything from this love story: try something new, because you could just find your calling. It doesn’t have to be tax–but it might be.
Melissa Gaglia is a third-year student at BC Law. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.